African Brew. Exploring the craft of South African beer, by Lucy Corne and Ryno Reyneke
In African Brew, Lucy Corne and Ryno Reyneke tell the story of South African beer craft. They take you along through seven provinces to meet the brewers, taste their beers and learn exactly what goes into that beverage you wouldn’t dream of braaiing without.
North West Province: BRAUHAUS AM DAMM
Location: On the R24 at Olifantsnek Dam, near Rustenburg
Tel: 087 802 5519
Amenities: Restaurant, beer tasting, off-sales
Every brewer has a story, but in the case of Brauhaus am Damm, the brewery itself also has a tale to tell. Described by brewer Imke Pape as "the Rolls-Royce of breweries", the 1000-litre system is indeed a fine specimen of beer equipment, but the copper kettles are more than just a pretty face. This system was the lifeblood of one of South Africa's earliest micro-breweries, much-loved Farmers' Brewery in Hatting-spruit, KwaZulu-Natal. It helped realise the lifelong dream of a German expat, Otto Martin, who set up the brewery in 1993. It saw thousands of tourists and loyal locals pass through to sip on the oft-talked about Farmers' Draught and it was there in 2009 when the Farmers' Brewery closed its doors for the last time. But as Otto's son, Josef, was quoted in the most impassioned obituary you'll ever read for a brewpub, "the brewery is not dead". It has been reincarnated in a grand setting on the edge of the Olifantsnek Dam near Rustenburg. Imke takes up the story where the Martin family left off: "Very good friends of ours, Walter and Christine Stallmann, went to Hattingspruit in 2008. The brewery had been closed for a while by then and the beer they tasted was two years old, but it was the best beer they'd ever had!" Walter and Christine decided there and then that they wanted to buy the brewery, despite having no brewing knowledge or background. They headed home to try and get further backing for the brewery, which is where Imke comes into the story. "They sat here and said we are going to buy this brewery together. We said no - we don't know anything about brewing; no, we're not doing this - but, of course, here we are!" laughs Imke. Challenges rained down - they had no premises, no brewer and a brewery sitting almost 500 km away, but gradually the solutions appeared. The first job was to move the brewery, an event that Imke remembers fondly. "We went down to Hattingspruit and labelled every part of the brewery. We also took thousands of photos because we didn't know where anything went and needed to know how to put it back together afterwards!" The brewery was dismantled at the start of 2009 and placed into storage until task number two was tackled - finding premises for the new brewery. After looking around the Rustenburg region to no avail, Imke decided to sell a 10-hectare piece of the farm she was born on to the brewing consortium, making sure that the pub and restaurant would always enjoy uninterrupted views over the dam. In July 2009, construction of the impressive, airy building began, its expansive deck and vast windows all helping to make the most of the brewery's picturesque setting. Now there was just one problem left to solve, the question of who was going to brew the beer. It was Imke who came to the rescue. "When we were dismantling the brewery I saw that this was a big thing and I wanted to be a part of it," she says. "I can cook but I didn't want to cook in a restaurant, so I decided to turn my hand to brewing. I started getting every book I could find on brewing and for two years I read, slept and drank beer. Then, when I finished the books I turned back and read them again!" With the theory part covered, it was time to get brewing. Imke started small - with a pot on the stove - before brewing with Heiko Feuring, a close friend who happens to be a qualified brewmaster, with whom she devised the Dunkel recipe that is one of Am Damm's flagship beers today. (...) In November 2011, Brauhaus am Damm opened its doors, serving German-style beers and hearty food to match. In fact, the German backing is evident throughout - not only in the food and beer, but also in the hi-tech and uber-organised cellar housing fermenters and shiny tanks from which the draught beer is pumped directly in this keg-free operation. Imke is rightly as proud of the equipment as she is of the beers and much of it is on show for patrons to inspect and admire. (...)
This is an excerpt from the book: African Brew. Exploring the craft of South African beer, by Lucy Corne and Ryno Reyneke.
Title: African Brew
Subtitle: Exploring the craft of South African beer
Authors: Lucy Corne; Ryno Reyneke
Publisher: Random House Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2013
ISBN 9781431702893 / ISBN 978-1-4317-0289-3
Softcover, 19 x 25 cm, 256 pages, throughout colour photos
Corne, Lucy und Reyneke, Ryno im Namibiana-Buchangebot
In 2013 the book African Brew has won the Gourmand World Cookbook Award as best beer craft book in the South African category.
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